Assessing the impact of proposed new policies
The Stationery Office, Jul 1, 2010 - Political Science - 39 pages
Impact assessments, used to assess the need for and the likely impact of proposed government policy interventions, do not yet consistently provide a sound basis for assessing the relative merits of different policy proposals. Impact assessments are of a high standard, but wide variation remains between the best and worst. Eighteen per cent of the NAO's sample was assessed as 'red' because they may not provide sufficient evidence to convince the reader that the right conclusion has been reached. Over half had weaknesses with only 28 per cent fully meeting reasonable quality standards. The number of policy options considered has improved, but is still too limited, with almost half of the assessments considering only one option, or one option plus a "do nothing" option. In addition, Impact assessments for interventions originating from European Union decisions are often produced only after a decision has been made at European Union level. The use of quantification in analysis for impact assessments is improving, with 86 per cent of those reviewed by the NAO containing some quantification of the costs of their preferred option and 60 per cent containing some quantification of benefits. However, 10 per cent of the assessments had not quantified either the costs or the benefits. Departments have increased the resources that they allocate to preparing Impact Assessments and internal scrutiny has improved. Some impact assessments have altered the course of policy development, yet only half of policy staff felt that they were useful in the policy process.
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50 Impact Assessments Amber Amendment analysis in Impact analysis of 50 Assessments we reviewed Audit Office analysis Better Regulation Executive Better Regulation Executive's Better Regulation Units cent Chief Economists considered costs and benefits Department for Business Department for Communities Department for Culture Department for Transport departmental depth of analysis economic analysis eleven departments estimated European Union decisions evaluation final Impact Assessments Food and Rural Food Standards Agency high quality Impact Home Office Impact Assessment process Impact Assessments achieving implementation improve Innovation and Skills legislation National Audit Office net present value Number of Impact Number of responses Ongoing Impacts option appraisal policy development process policy staff policymaking preferred option produce Impact Assessments published Impact Assessment quality assurance panel quality Impact Assessments quality of analysis quality tests Regulation Executive's guidance Regulations 2008 Regulatory Impact Assessments reliability of appraisal reported Roll-out Effects Rural Affairs scrutiny processes sensitivity analysis uncertainty wider effects